With all this press about toys made in china being recalled, I've no doubt been called many times to Ruby's toy area to look at what we have there. Thankfully, I've not had to throw away anything. She's too young for many of the toys listed, but also we've been picky about what we've bought, and lucky about what has been gifted to us. Our families and friends love to make gifts, and have also been so respectful about purchasing what we ask for her. We told all the grandparents that for xmas and birthdays, no more than 3 gifts (please :) ) and wooden or cloth. We also requested battery free toys at this point. We don't mind things that make noise, for crying out loud, THIS is one of our favorite things around here! but we like things that Ruby can make the noise, or that she has to elicit the noise from. It's a lot more fun for her to play the harmonica than to have a toy that just constantly makes battery operated noise. A lot more fun for everyone, trust me!
Anyway... I have spent some time going through her toys, putting some things aside to be passed on, some things to be saved for future siblings (if we are so lucky). I've been happy to see so many beautifully hand made gifts. A doll made by my mom, wooden rattles made by my dad, soft cloth balls made by my friend Celeste, etc. I was also pleased to see so many things that were on 'safe' lists, made in the US, Europe, Thailand, or India. I'd like to think that all of this was planning, but most of it was pure luck.
Even before we ventured into compacting, I've always been a fan of spending a little more to have something better quality, not made in a sweatshop, and now I'm even more a fan of it. I don't mind spending a little more on a pair of pants that will last a long time, especially if they were made in fair trade.... same with toys. I'd rather Ruby have 10 toys she loves that were produced safely and lovingly, than 30 toys that are not. I want to raise her to thing consciously about the things she has and wants, and to truly love the things she has.
It's one of the things I love about de-cluttering, getting rid of the things I just don't need and love, and truly loving the things I have.